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sphaerium occidentale (J. Lewis, 1856)
Herrington Fingernailclam
Family: Sphaeriidae


© Ian Gardiner     (Photo ID #69499)


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Distribution of sphaerium occidentale in British Columbia in British Columbia


Sphaerium occidentale is endemic to North America (Mackie, 2007). The species is discontinuously distributed from Newfoundland and New Brunswick to British Columbia in regions containing calcareous deposits. Its southern distribution extends to Florida, Utah, and Colorado (Clarke, 1981; Williams et al, 2014).

This species was first found in British Columbia in 1890 in what is now Yoho National Park (Canadian Museum of Nature Collections). It was not found again until 2012, when it was discovered in the Flathead River Valley by a joint team from the Royal BC Museum, Sierra Club BC, and Wildsight.

This species has a preference for, or requires, a habitat that dries up for part of the year (Herrington, 1962). Typical sites are ditches, swamps, and small shallow ponds (Clarke, 1981). It is found among grass and leaves (Herrington, 1962), and is sometimes found living among damp leaves entirely out of water (Clarke, 1973).

Note Author: Ian Gardiner

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS2S3BlueNot Listed

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Species References

Canadian Museum of Nature Collections, available online http://collections.nature.ca/en/Search/Index

Clarke, A. H. 1973. The freshwater molluscs of the Canadian Interior Basin. Malacologia 13 (1-2): 1-509.

Clarke, A. H. 1981. The Freshwater Molluscs of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario: 446pp.

Herrington, H. B. 1962. A revision of the Sphaeriidae of North America (Mollusca: Pelecypoda). Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 118: 74pp.

Mackie, G. L. 2007. Biology of freshwater corbiculid and sphaeriid clams of North America. Ohio Biological Survey Bulletin New Series. Vol XV No. 3: 436pp.

Williams, J.D., Butler, R.S., Warren, G.L. & N.A. Johnson 2014. Freshwater Mussels of Florida. University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. 528pp.